Thursday, July 23, 2009

Municipal workers to down tools







Say it with a sting.....

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA Jul 23 2009 14:57




South Africa's strike-weary public will have to contend with the work stoppage from Monday of at least 150 000 municipal workers seeking better pay.

The South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) plan to down tools from the beginning of next week in a move that will affect many of the country's core municipal functions.

"There is not any possible indication that the strike on Monday can be averted," Samwu general secretary Mthandeki Nhlapho told Sapa.

"But we still remain open for any meaningful suggestion or offer that we can take down to our members," he said.

He added that none had been forthcoming in the past days, and no further meetings were scheduled by Thursday afternoon.

The strike marked the first time members from the two different union federations with municipal worker affiliates would embark on joint action, Nhlapo said.

Samwu is aligned with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), which is an alliance partner with the ruling African National Congress, and Imatu is aligned with the Federated Unions of South Africa, which describes itself as independent.

In the past few months South Africa has had to contend with strikes in the construction, communications, transport and mining sectors as unions and companies thrash out the best possible pay deals during a global recession.

Samwu and Imatu had rejected a mediator's proposal of a 11,5% wage increase.

Imatu had earlier accepted the offer but demanded that it should be implemented over one year and not three, as proposed by the mediator. Samwu wanted a 15% increase, with other provisions which include housing loan assistance and a minimum wage.

Further details of the strike would be announced by the unions on Friday.

A spokesperson for the South African Local Government Association, with whom the unions were negotiating, was not immediately available to comment. -- Sapa

Mail & Gaurdian

Comments by Sonny

The workers got who they voted for!

Now they must demand their status in society!

Protests waged from within!

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